Burping a Baby Like A Pro
Burping a Baby Like A Pro
Burping. It’s one of those newborn baby sensations new parents may not know much about. Babies who eat are going to burp. Why? Because newborns swallow a little bit of air when feeding. Burping a baby expels that swallowed air and helps her to feel happy and full. With a little practice, you’ll know just what to do!
Breastfed and bottle-fed babies both swallow air, but it seems that bottle-fed babies do so a little bit more. If breastfeeding, burp baby when switching breasts. During bottle feeding, stop every 2-3 ounces and burp your baby. You should always burp your baby after a feeding. Feeding time should be a calm, peaceful time for you and your baby – if she gets worked up, she’ll likely swallow more air.
There are a few different ways to burp your baby:
- Holding baby to your chest – Baby’s belly should rest on your chest, her head near your shoulder. Rub or pat her back gently.
- Laying baby on her belly across your lap – Ensuring baby’s head is higher than her chest, position baby across your lap and gently pat her back.
- Sitting baby up – Carefully using the heel and palm of your hand, support baby’s head and chest. She should be sitting on your lap while your other hand pats her back.
After feeding and burping a baby, try to avoid lying her down flat for 20-30 minutes. This can make the milk re-enter the esophagus and cause reflux. Try placing a folded blanket underneath the crib mattress so that baby’s head is slightly elevated. You can also try feeding more frequently in smaller amounts, so her belly doesn’t get overfull.
Spit up and vomit might seem like the same thing, but they are not – and it’s not too difficult to tell the difference. Vomiting is forceful and uncomfortable and much more milk comes up, while spit up is not great cause for concern, even if your infant is sleeping. Baby might spit up after burping or because she ate too much. Stopping to burp your baby during feedings can help minimize spit up.
When gas bubbles become uncomfortable…
If she acts like she has a gas bubble that is really causing some discomfort, it could be GERD or colic. There might be something wrong if your baby:
- Arches her back after or during a feeding
- Cries consistently for more than 3 hours a day, usually in the evening
- Gags or has difficulty swallowing
- Becomes fussy after a feeding
- Vomits more than once a day
If you suspect your baby might be in pain, consult with her pediatrician or doctor. GERD and colic are treatable, and you can get help. Feeding should not be a painful or uncomfortable experience!
As your baby grows, she’ll learn how to feed without swallowing air and the need for burping disappears. Most infants don’t need extra help with burping and begin to discontinue spitting up once they are old enough to sit up by themselves. With newborns, all it takes is a little practice and you’ll be burping a baby like a pro!
Do you have any burping tips to share? Comment below!